General English

General Science

  • noun an organism that has thread-like cells with walls made of chitin and no green chlorophyll


  • noun a simple plant organism such as yeast, mushrooms or mould with thread-like cells and without green chlorophyll


  • The name given in cookery to the fruiting body of a fungus which arises from the long branching thread-like strands of mycelium which grow on decaying organic matter and is usually the only visible part of the fungus. The fruiting bodies grow extremely rapidly and carry the spores by which the fungi are dispersed. They grow in the wild or are cultivated and are generally eaten before they mature. They do not require sunlight to grow and are most colours except green.


  • noun an organism such as yeast or mould, some of which cause disease


  • a microorganism such as a yeast, mushroom, or mould. Some fungi cause plant diseases such as mildew. Yeasts react with sugar to form alcohol during fermentation.

Origin & History of “fungus”

Fungus was introduced into English in the early 16th century as a learned and more all-embracing alternative to mushroom. It was borrowed from Latin fungus, which probably came from Greek sphóngos ‘sponge’, source of English sponge.